"The most important score in a basketball game is after halftime," he said Wednesday at Maxine's Restaurant in Aiken. "It's halftime. It's a huge hill, but are we up for it? Absolutely."
The congressman met with supporters and customers at the Laurens Street restaurant hoping to garner new supporters and re-energize his voter base.
Supporters packed the eatery for Barrett, who will compete against state Rep. Nikki Haley in Tuesday's Republican primary runoff. Barrett got 22 percent of the vote in the June 8 primary, while Haley received 49 percent.
Voters should not let Barrett's second-place finish overshadow the issues, said Aiken supporter Teresa Popham.
"I don't believe you vote for people because they have the upper hand," she said. "He's pro-life, his faith is very important to him, and I like his stance on jobs and immigration."
Barrett, an Army captain who has served in the House since 2003, said he thinks his dedication to running a positive campaign will play in his favor. His staunch pro-life stance, plans for economic development and fiscal conservatism will make the difference during the runoff, he said.
"I voted against the stimulus package. She (Haley) voted for it not once but twice," he said. "I've put out my tax records, federal disclosure and all my donors' contributions. She hasn't. I think all these things make the difference."
Charlie Hartz, an Aiken business owner who voted for Haley, said he came to the country-cooking restaurant Wednesday afternoon to determine whether Barrett would get his vote.
"I want to see what Gresham has to say," Hartz said. "I want to see if he's in line with the Tea Party -- less government and more personal responsibility."
Tommy Smith, of North Augusta, said Barrett is the best candidate because he has a long congressional record that speaks to fiscal conservatism. Smith, formerly a Democrat, plans to vote for Barrett a second time.
"He's someone that can look at the issues, and make a good decision without being dogmatic," he said. "I've been a Gresham backer, and I think him coming to this little restaurant will help his campaign."